What about having pricing for bed only and bed plus breakfast ??
Two or three dollars difference should satisfy both sides, breakfast eaters and people with coffee only in the morning. (Coffee would be always free :) )
HW brought in a speaker named Reed Holden a few years ago who was encouraging hostels to do just that. He said we should follow the Ryanair model and unbundle anything that we offer in addition to the bed so that we can offer very low prices to the customers who don’t need anything more than a place to sleep. Then we can charge the folks who do want additional services for each one as a tiered package when they book or as it’s needed on site.
One problem with this is that most guests (regardless of what they booked and paid for) will want all of the services that they see others receiving. They may book the rock bottom bed-only rate, but when they see someone else getting breakfast included they’ll scream that you’re nickel-and-diming them when you ask them to pay for the same service. It can also be difficult to control which guests have paid for a service and which have not.
To get around this last point, one solution is to issue tickets or tokens at check-in that can be redeemed for the service. As long as everyone has to present the ticket to receive the service, then there is no indication that one guest has paid on site and another paid in advance.
Setting up showers with constant temperature for 7 and 1/2 minutes, with circulation so there is no waiting time for warm water.
Also, giving one or two tokens per day , anything more would be charged extra.
I have heard of hostels that have coin/token machines for the showers. Giving a certain number of coins for the stay seems like a good way to control water consumption.
I have also heard of hostels where there is a timer that automatically shuts off the hot water after a designated period of time. That way if you’re covered in soap you can still rinse off– just not very comfortably, because the water would be cold.
Some hostels also use the push-button showers to reduce consumption. They're not as comfortable to use, so people don't spend as much time under the shower. (personally I really don't like showering with these)
self service check in
St. Christopher’s Inns started doing this recently. I wonder how much the initial cost of the equipment would be.